George Zimmerman, 29, was a self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer at his Sanford gated community when he fatally shot Martin on Feb. 26, 2012. Zimmerman is of white and Latino heritage -- his mother is Peruvian -- something friends and relatives have cited to rebut allegations that he racially profiled Martin, who was black.
Zimmerman had a legal permit to carry the gun he used on Martin, and he said he fired in self-defense after Martin attacked him and repeatedly pounded his head into the ground. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1-million bail. He faces 25 years to life if convicted.
Zimmerman's initial bail after his arrest in April 2012 was $150,000. It was raised after prosecutors accused Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, of lying about how much money they had to win a low bail. A judge agreed, accused Zimmerman of planning to use hidden funds to flee, and increased the bail in July. Shellie Zimmerman was charged with perjury stemming from the bail issue. The Zimmermans left the housing complex where the shooting occurred and are living in a secret location arranged by the defense team.
(Pool / Getty Images /June 24, 2013)
The Sun editorial staff makes some irrational comments on George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict in saying that "two undercurrents are clearly responsible for what happened that night and for the way the case has played out since: racial prejudice and Florida's reckless stand-your-ground self-defense law" ("No justice," July 16).
First, prior to the trial, the FBI conducted extensive investigation and found zero events, comments or actions that indicated racial prejudice was in Mr. Zimmerman's background.
The only people who used the race card against Mr. Zimmerman were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and, of course, The Sun.
Second, according to the 2011 FBI crime statistics, Florida has a 5.2 murder rate per 100,000 population compared to Maryland's 6.8. The average murder rate for all the 16 states that have stand-your-ground self-defense laws is 5.17.
Seems the stand-your ground self-defense laws are working. Maybe Maryland legislators, the governor and Baltimore City's mayor should take notice.
Ron Wirsing, Havre de Grace